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Pablo Mari alleviates more stress than you think

Arsenal’s defense is set for a serious facelift in the coming transfer window, so counting on Pablo Mar is a bigger deal than it seems.

Arsenal‘s big three concerns this transfer window are each being met with a slew of transfer rumors and hearsay, but it’s arguably at centerback that we’re seeing the most conversation. How do you fix such a widespread problem? We could very well see the majority of our centerback options departing the club.

Aside from Calum Chambers, David Luiz, and the incoming William Saliba, no one else is safe. Rob Holding, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, and Konstantinos Mavropanos could all very well be on their way out of the club.

Then there’s Pablo Mari. According to numerous reports both now and about a month ago, Mikel Arteta and the club had already decided to pay the £10m to make Mari’s move permanent and, same as back then, I’ll say it again now—this is a good thing.

It’s not going to be dolled up to be anything more than what it is—a depth signing. No one is expecting him to be the fourth centerback, or to eliminate the necessity of signing someone like Dayot Upamecano or Jonathan Tah.

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Arteta doesn’t think that either. When he said that he was looking to buy a centerback, a holding midfielder, and an attacker, he wasn’t referring to Pablo Mari.

Which is why Mari is so important. You can never have too many defensive options. You really can’t. Even though the Gunners were riddled with largely questionable options, it was nice to know that if one failed, or one got hurt for a long period of time, there would be another waiting to step up.

That usually calls for about five centerbacks. The two starters, who are likely going to be Luiz and a new signing like Tah, our back-up pairing in Chambers and Saliba, and the swingman, Pablo Mari.

Without that swingman, a single injury breaks the whole system. Suddenly you’re asking Chamber to play two matches a week, which significantly increases the risk of injury, thus exacerbating the problem. And all could have been solved with a simple fifth man. That’s all it would take.

Next: 5 Players Impacted By Thomas Partey

It might not be something fans will celebrate, but keeping Mari for the long-term eliminates all kinds of stress. And don’t count him out to be a much bigger deal than he initially seems.

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